… the thoughts from a life in the Son-shine State

Posts tagged ‘Holy Spirit’

If we were all like me…

… would that be good?

What if we were all like you?

What if we were all like Jesus?

Most people I meet want to have an impact on those around them.

At least, we should desire to have an impact…
and hopefully a positive one.

The trouble is, we often attempt this our own way.
We do what we think is important, and in return seek recognition for the great job we did, or impact we had.

What we need to be doing instead is asking the Holy Spirit to leads into the life of impact that will matter in light of eternity, and that God will receive the glory for it.

Francis Chan, in his book Forgotten God, has some challenging words for us regarding this truth:

How would you be missed if you left [the place God has called you to]? What would change? Basically, what difference does your presence here make? … What would your church (and the world-wide Church) look like if everyone were as committed as you are? If everyone gave and served and prayed exactly like you, would the church be healthy and empowered? Or would it be weak and listless?

Ouch!
Tough words from our fiend Mr. Chan…

Much work to be done in my heart, and then lived out in my life.

Holy Spirit… HELP!

Our notebooks are full

A reporter, after interviewing Annie Mainwaring, who was one of the lady singers that traveled with Evan Roberts, looked down at his notebook only to realize that it was still blank. He was so captivated by the words she spoke regarding the revival and of Roberts, that he failed to write anything down. He then stated, “Well, my notebook is empty, but my heart is full.

Today, we find the opposite to be true of most Christians—our notebooks are full, but our hearts are empty.

Peter Yeoman
(Retelling the story passed on to him by the man that was in the room when this happened.)

Seeker Friendly

I ended yesterday’s blog with the statement that we have made gathering at church the focus of our American Christianity, rather than the mission of the gospel being the focus.

In a continuation of that thought, let’s consider the label, or term, “Seeker Friendly.”
(By the way, #Labels suck!)

I’m almost finished with the book Radical Together by David Platt. In the last chapter before the Conclusion, he talks about being “Seeker Friendly.”

This is a trend that has become so popular over the last decade or so, but Platt puts an interesting spin on it. Let’s look at a summary of what he says (sorry there is so much… it was all really good):

“… were my sights really supposed to be set on bringing a large crowd together in a cool environment where they could hear terrific music, see killer graphics, and then listen to me talk live or via video…? If this was to be the vision of my life and ministry, I decided, then I should perish.

“Vision affects everything. That’s what visions do. If the focus of the church is on having a large crowd in a big place where people can feel warm and welcomed, then you and I will plan accordingly. We will prioritize a nice church campus for people to drive to and where they can find a convenient parking space. We’ll give them a latte when they walk in the door, and then we’ll provide state-of-the-art entertainment for their children while treating them to a great show that leaves them feeling good when they drive away in a timely fashion…

“What happens [to our vision of large, comfortable crowds] when our primary aim is not to make the crowds feel comfortable but to exalt God in all his glory? … More than you and I want people to be impressed by the stuff that we can manufacture, we want them to be amazed by the God they cannot fathom… we want to raise up people who are so awed, so captivated, so memorized by the glory of God that they will gladly lose their lattes—and their lives—to make his greatness known to the world…

“… someone might ask… ‘Isn’t it good to cater creatively to people who don’t know God?’ Don’t we want to be sensitive to those who are seeking God?’ … let me remind you of a startling reality that the Bible makes clear: ‘There is… no one that seeks God.’ (Rom 3:11) So if the church is sensitive to seekers, and no one is seeking God, then that means the church is sensitive to no one…

“Instead, Jesus tells us that the Father is pursing worshipers for his praise. He is the one doing the seeking! …

“So let’s be radically seeker sensitive in our churches. But let’s make sure we are being sensitive to the right Seeker.

  • What do we need to do differently to make sure we cater to The Seeker, God?

Still learning…

Steve

Back in Black… or Red…

Over the last week or so I have slowly slipped back into the Social Media Universe. Yeah, I was gone for close to a month. Did you miss me? (Probably not.) I almost blogged/Tweeted/status-updated the fact that I was going silent for some time; but then I thought about the fact that I would be drawing attention to myself and the fast (which we shouldn’t do). So, I just unplugged.

This was difficult, considering that my full-time job is a Social Media Manager. It’s like fasting food while a waiter at a restaurant, or fasting caffeine while a barista… done both. So, the rule was no personal social media. No Facebook. No Twitter. No FourSquare. No Instagram. No Path. You get the point. (Note: During this time I did break the fast for two tweets. They were on consecutive Sundays. The first was when Tim Tebow beat the Steelers in overtime. The second was when the New England Patriots beat Tim Tebow the following week.)

During this time a lot has happened personally. I am no longer am a barista at The Drowsy Poet Coffee Company, I now work a full 40 hours a week at Creation Today, our launch team for our new church plant is into the double digits with a young family it he mix, and my wife is pregnant. Okay, that last part is not true.

It’s amazing how sensitive you become to the Holy Spirit when you begin to remove distractions from your life. I have noticed how much I “connect” myself to others via all these different platforms, yet in the process, tend to wane in the one “connection” that I truly can’t live without. My desire and longing for the Holy Spirit, and His ever-growing power in my life, has increased beyond any level than it has ever been before. I say that like there is a meter, or measuring stick that measures the depth of yearning. You can’t quantify it with any measuring tool, but it is something that is clearly either more or less; and interestingly enough, you only really notice when it is more. In English… The more we set time aside for communication with God, the more sensitive we become to the Holy Spirit; and the more sensitive we become to the Holy Spirit, the more we realize that we lived so long less sensitive to Him.

Not really sure why I just wrote that. This was not planned. Maybe that was for you? (I think that was a demonstration of what I was talking about… I honestly didn’t plan on blogging about this today…)

When a fire is burning in your belly, you know it. That fire has been fanned and I want more or God. That’s really what it comes down to, and not really sure where that is going to lead; but I’m excited to see what happens next.

Living in anticipation

Steve

Being Stirred

There has been a stirring in my heart recently. I have been sensing the pursuit of the Holy Spirit as I have gone from day to day. I can’t necessarily explain it… but it is this anxious anticipation that He is doing something in me.

He has been cautioning me, though, at the same time. I know that if I don’t respond to this stirring, that it will go as easily as it came; and nothing will come of it. I don’t want that to be the case!

I found a book at a local used book store. It is the book Meat For Men by Leonard Ravenhill. As God has been leading me to praying more, I find it interesting that I found this book today – definitely not by accident! (And it was only $1.00!) In the forward, written by T. A. Hegre, the lyrics to an old hymn are written, following a passionate recommendation for men that want to be stirred to read the book. I will leave you hanging with those ancient words (and hope you will look forward to future posts regarding this stirring…):

Stir me, oh stir me, Lord, till prayer is pain,
Till prayer is joy, till prayer turns into praise;
Stir me till my heart and will and mind, yea all
Is wholly Thine to use through all the days.
Stir, till I learn to pray exceedingly;
Stir, till I learn to wait expectantly.

Being stirred (and wicked excited about it)!!!

steve

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